Laura Scahffer’s poem Evening delves into the challenges of place and setting. Rife with imagery, Evening flips the theme of a bucolic idyll on its head, instilling ecological tension with violent and destructive observations of a roadway in the fog. A haunting and lovely poem.
-After Harriet Arnow
The ridge road surfaces, holds.
Slopes pitch sharp down both sides
into low fog, and you can see
the self-saturant shade making
hills like hip bones, juts: not ribs
but knees and feet and fighting
elbows, the ground like
fighting. Grinding teeth.
You can see from the road (smooth
stuff, repainted lines in vertebral
rivets) when the cloud lets go,
if only for a minute –
You can see the truth: that clouds are made
of clay, of pinfeathers, saw-edged
greens and saps, things stuck
to those sandpaper tongues
that do slow violence
to the world.
Laura Schaffer, is a poet and teacher currently living in Columbia, SC. She completed my MFA at Boston University in 2019, and her poetry has been published, or is forthcoming, in 3Elements Review, Appalachian Heritage, and The Raw Art Review.